A Conversation for The Goon Show

a movie worth mentioning

Post 1


How wonderful to see an entry on the Goons! My congratulations.

This reminds me of a film I saw recently, which all Goon fans would be interested in. It was called "The Bed Sitting Room", was released in 1969, starred Secombe and Milligan along with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook (among others), and was directed by Richard Lester. A very strange film, more-or-less a comedy, though very black, set in a post-apocalyptic England. Very funny, very bleak. Not terribly popular when first released, I'm told, but I liked it a lot.

a movie worth mentioning

Post 2

Taipan - Jack of Hearts

Not forgetting 'The Case of The Muckinese Battlehorn' starring Sellers and Milligan - can't remember if secombe was there as well, but it was in filmed in typical 'goonish form'.

a movie worth mentioning

Post 3

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

'The Bed Sitting Room' is based on a stage play by Spike Milligan and...John Antrobus. I've not seen it, sad to say, but the paperback is hilarious... real Goon show stuff. The entire play, if memory serves, is set within the Bed Sitting Room (the transmogrified Lord Fortnum).

I'm presently looking at my tattered Tandem paperback copy. It was obviously produced as a radio play, as the book contains a cast list featuring such noteworthies as the great Valentine Dyell, as Lord Fortnum of Alamein. Still, I don't think I'm wrong in thinking it was also produced for the stage.

... or is that wishful thinking.smiley - winkeye


a movie worth mentioning

Post 4


There was also another short film that did the cinema rounds in the fifties which was called 'The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film'. I can't remember if all the goons were in it but it was largly based on the Goons surreal humour. It ran for years in the 'News Cinemas' in 'Old London Town'.
Spike Milligan was also in a theatre production of 'Oblimov' it later became 'Son of Oblimov', It was indescribable.
Great article BTW. All the best A.M.smiley - bigeyes

a movie worth mentioning

Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

As I recall, 'The Running, Jumping and Standing Still' film was just one goon, either Sellars or Milligan.

a movie worth mentioning

Post 6

Robin Reed

Don’t get me started on “The Bed Sitting Room”. It’s great. Wonderful. Weird. I’d never even heard of a bed sitting room before I saw it, but by the time one of the characters turns into one, I loved the movie. I wonder if there a video available. I’d love to see it again.

a movie worth mentioning

Post 7


The "Running, Jumping and Standing Still" film was apparently made in TWO DAYS, at a cost of £700 (including £5 for the hire of the field)! The main expenditure was on film-stock - Sellers had bought the camera (he was always tinkering with new gadgets - especially cars) and the movie was dreamed up as a way of justifying his impulse-buy. All the Goons were involved, plus Graham Stark and others. This information comes from an excellent biography - "Peter Sellers" by Alexander Walker, Coronet Books, 1982 (softback, then selling at £1.75p!) See page 121.

It was shown on T.V. three or four years ago; I managed to tape it. So there!

a movie worth mentioning

Post 8

Rich Loony

Not to forget "Down Among the Z Men", which starred all 3 Goons!

a movie worth mentioning

Post 9

Froggy MacIntyre

'Down Among the Z Men' was also released as 'Stand Easy'. Although I'm very much a Goon fan, I find this movie painfully unfunny. Peter Sellers is locked into a single straight-man persona all through the film: when he starts to do a comedy routine very late in the film, it's too little and too late. Spike Milligan spends the whole film as Eccles, and he starts to get tiresome. There's no Bluebottle, no Moriarty. No Needle-Nardle-Noo. None of the fantastic grams and sound effects of the radio version. So much talent present onscreen, to so little effect.
'The Bed-Sitting Room' is a brilliant film, which I recommend to all devotees of weird comedy, especially the British variety. It has a once-in-a-lifetime cast, including Spike Milligan, Sir Ralph Richardson, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Marty Feldman (in drag), and the very sexy Rita Tushingham. However, one fact about the production of this film is very frightening. The movie takes place after World War Three, when most of the world has been destroyed and nearly everyone is dead. What's scary is the fact that all of the exterior scenes in this film were shot in ACTUAL locations in Staffordshire, with no set dressing or art direction. They used various toxic landfills and industrial waste tips, filming them EXACTLY AS THEY WERE ... and these locations provided very convincing scenes of post-apocalypse Britain. Spooky!

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